A recent survey by McKinsey and Company reported that though many organizations are committed to social issues in developing markets, with respect to improving the lives of others, less than 20% are focused on women – programs that specifically promote gender equality or women’s economic advancement or programs that make women the central focus. This is surprising in the face of overwhelming studies, both from academic research and from United Nations reports, showing that women generate better outcomes, in terms of specific program goals and overall development objectives.
Of those surveyed, the companies who in fact focus on women can show positive results: economic gains for the women, profits for their companies. This is outstanding, in that usually social and developmental programs generally struggle to show a direct link to company profit and social issue progress. McKinsey says, “Respondents’ ability to see a clear link to profits likely results from a combination of the issues companies are addressing (particularly education), the targets of their programs (most often current and future employees), and the multiplier effect of focusing on women.”
So, for most companies, there are clear business reasons to support growth in developing countries. So why do relatively few focus on women?
Check out the entire article at McKinsey.